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EnglishEdit

 
17th century image of a person playing the hautboy

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From French hautbois. Doublet of oboe and hautbois.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

hautboy (plural hautboys)

  1. (dated, music) An oboe or similar treble double reed instrument.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act III, Scene 2,[1]
      I [] told John a Gaunt he beat his own name; for you might have thrust him and all his apparel into an eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court []
    • 1694, uncredited translator, The Voyage into Spitzbergen and Greenland by Friderich Martens in An Account of Several Late Voyages & Discoveries to the South and North, London: Sam Smith and Benjamin Walford, Chapter 1, p. 12,[2]
      When after this manner any have lost their Ships, and cannot be seen, they discharge a Cannon from the Ship, or sound the Trumpets, or Haut-boys, according as they are provided in their Ships, that the men that are lost may find their Ship again.
    • 1788, Charles Dibdin, The Musical Tour of Mr. Dibdin, Sheffield: for the author, Letter 48, p. 197,[3]
      [] even in a hautboy song, or any other where a particular instrument may have an obligato accompaniment, the voice ought to be every where assisted, but no where eclipsed.
    • 1816, William Hazlitt, “Theatrical Debuts,” The Examiner, 20 October, 1816, in A. R. Waller and Arnold Glover (eds.), The Collected Works of William Hazlitt, London: J.M. Dent, 1903, p. 341,[4]
      The notes proceed from her mouth as mechanically, as unmitigated by the sentiment, as if they came from the sharp hautboy or grating bassoon.
    • 1878, Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, London: Smith, Elder, Volume 3, Chapter 7, p. 69,[5]
      “Well, this is a bad night altogether for them that have done well in their time; and if I were ever such a dab at the hautboy or tenor-viol, I shouldn’t have the heart to play tunes upon ’em now.”
  2. (music) A reed stop on an organ giving a similar sound.
  3. A tall-growing strawberry, Fragaria elatior, having a musky flavour.
    • 1766, Tobias Smollett, Travels through France and Italy, London: R. Baldwin, Volume 1, Letter 19, pp. 304-305,[6]
      In May we have strawberries, which continue in season two or three months. These are of the wood kind; very grateful, and of a good flavour; but the scarlets and hautboys are not known at Nice.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, Volume 2, Chapter 6,[7]
      “The best fruit in England—every body’s favourite—always wholesome.—These the finest beds and finest sorts. [] every sort good—hautboy infinitely superior—no comparison—the others hardly eatable—hautboys very scarce []

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